In the middle of March I wrote a super successful post about the history and origin of St. Patrick’s day. I wanted to research it because honestly I didn’t know anything about it. Yet I was dressing Morgan in green head to toe! That post ended up launching a series of posts after I received multiple comments to create a post for each holiday. I will have to explain each holiday to Morgan anyway. What a better way than to actually learn the facts behind them. You can read all of my past posts below:
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Mother’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Father’s Day
- Fourth of July
- Labor Day
I learn so much from doing these posts, and I find that I really enjoy researching and writing them. Today I will be sharing with you How To Explain The Meaning Of Christmas To Your Toddler. There are so many individual celebrations, customs and traditions in December including my own country’s custom of Mikulas on December 6th. However for the purposes of today’s post I am going to focus on the Christmas celebration on December 25th in America.
As always I would like to thank my wonderful friend Google. Google was able to steer me in so many fascinating directions while researching this history. Prior to my research I had no idea that for a period of time in America Christmas was actually banned! Continue reading to find out more about this religious and cultural celebration we think that we know so well.
- The origin of Christmas dates back to the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary who was pregnant with the son of God would give birth to Jesus on the Winter Solstice. The accounts of Christ’s Nativity (the occasion of a person’s birth) spread across the lands, and soon most Christians began celebrating Christ’s birth on December 25th.
- The first record of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336 by the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would always be celebrated on the 25th.
- Today Christmas is an annual celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is deemed a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
- Christmas although celebrated by billions of people around the world it was not always in favor in America. What most Americans don’t know is that Christmas was actually banned in Boston from 1659 to 1681. Puritans or Protestant Christians believed that people needed to abide by strict rules in order to be religious, and that any sort of merrymaking was in fact a sin.
- Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant. It was during this time that the Puritan beliefs in America began to fade.
- Now that we understand the true meaning of Christmas (Christ’s Nativity) lets learn about something that I have always been curious about; and that is the story behind the Christmas tree. Both Pagans and Christians used the Evergreen Fir to celebrate winter. In fact branches from the Fir tree decorated homes during the Winter Solstice to symbolize the spring to come. Evergreens also represent everlasting life because they stay the same year round.
- The ornaments we use to adorn our trees also have very special meanings. The ornament colors of blue and white represent snow and winter while the color red represents the blood of Jesus. The Star that sits on top of the tree represents the Star of Bethlehem which the Three Wise Men used to guide them to the stable where Jesus was born.
- Finally, why Christmas? The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ. A Mass service also called a Communion or Eucharist, is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life.
Honestly researching Christmas has been my favorite holiday post to date! I can’t believe how much I learned! I truly hope you enjoyed learning about How To Explain The Meaning Of Christmas To Your Toddler. It really is such a joyous and magical time of year.
If you are curious about what I mentioned earlier in the post about Mikulas. I was born in Eastern Europe. Across several European countries Mikulas or St. Nicholas leaves children small toys and chocolates on December 6th in their shoes, which they leave out for him the night before.
Bonus history! Saint Nicholas also known as Santa Claus was indeed a real person. He was a bishop in the fourth century. His parents died when he was quite young and left him a great fortune which he used to help poor and sick children.
As always thank you so much for reading. Have a very Merry Christmas!!!! I wish all of you the very best holiday season!